Fergus resident and newly announced federal Liberal candidate, Melanie Lang, says she’s feeling strong heading into the next election.
Lang will run in the riding of Wellington-Halton Hills. The electoral district has been consistently controlled by Conservative Micheal Chong since it was first contested in 2004, but Lang’s optimistic she can end his 17-year tenure.
“I feel really really good about it,” Lang said, when asked about her chances. “There has been a lot of change in the riding, even just since the last election. I’m excited for the opportunity to meet the new people that have come into the riding and continue to engage with those we’ve come to know over the years.”
She also wants to respond to technological changes.
“COVID has brought 2030 to 2020,” she said. “Businesses and our educational system and many other areas are trying to catch up and fill that gap."
For that reason, improved rural broadband and rural transit, along with better access to critical services, are key issues she wants to see addressed in the riding, she explained.
Lang is principal at Melanie Lang Consulting, specializing in education and management consulting, and was the founding executive director of The John F. Wood Centre for Business and Student Enterprise at the University of Guelph. She's currently completing a PhD in rural studies.
Although her background is business and education, she said she’s long understood the importance of politics in terms of public service. Members of both her family and her husband's family were mayors and councillors in the rural community in western Quebec where Lang grew up.
“I feel like it was just a matter of time before I decided to throw my name in the ring as well,” she said.
With an election not yet called, when Lang will have a chance to contest the Wellington-Halton Hills seat remains unclear and Lang said the timing of her candidacy announcement shouldn’t be taken as an indication a writ drop is imminent. Her job right now is to be ready whenever a call is made, she said.
“I feel very strong. I feel very hopeful,” she said. “I think it’s going to be a great campaign.”
Alison Sandstrom, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, GuelphToday.com